This is actually an interesting subject that is discussed frequently in my industry. I was one of those "best technical employees" who was moved into management. It has happened to me twice. My current employer hired me as the department manager. My past two employers offered tuition reimbursement for classes taken directly related to my position. I started out in an electrical engineering program and ended up with a bachelor's degree in business management and a minor in HR. My total costs were books and transportation. During my school years, 8 all together, I was motivated by the many eye opening lessons that could be directly applied to the position I held. Many of my peers did not take advantage of tuition programs and it really shows. Some of them are very frustrated with their jobs because they were never trained to manage. If companies are interested in moving technicians to management, they should adopt a learning program targeted to business management. Have employees sign a commitment form that will reward them for staying several years after each class. It's a win win. Just an old wrench turner's opinion.